What’s in a brand? Well, it turns out a whole lot. Shopping Centre News explores this new Australian study which measures brand equity – a measurement that is complex for most marketers and brand experts.
This week the release of the The BrandZTM Top 40 Most Valuable Australian Brands ranking demonstrated the strength and importance of Australia retail and shopping centre brands. The report is a new annual study by WPP AUNZ and Kantar Millward Brown tracking the fortunes of Australia’s most valuable brands.
In the shopping centre category, Westfield is the strongest brand with 39% of Australians predisposed to shopping at a Westfield. The strong network and reputation of the brand also drives even more people than predicted to shopping in Westfield centres, with a 50% in-survey share of shoppers. It was a smart decision of the Scentre Group to keep the Westfield brand which comes with significant heritage and brand value.
“The shopping centre category is driven by a holistic experience offering. Those providing a destination where Australians know they will always have a great experience and have their shopping, dining and entertainment needs all catered too in the one bricks and mortar environment will dominate the experience factor. People trust a consistent offering.” said Jarrod Payne, Head of Brand Strategy, Kantar Millward Brown
“To combat the threat of disruptors like Amazon, shopping centres will need to innovate the in-store experience and environment even further. Tech-enabled physical stores are the big opportunity, representing a space than even online retail giants are entering as a way to extend their influence” said Payne.
Retail is strong in Australia with 11 retail brands in the top 40: Woolworths (6), Coles (7), Westfield (8), Bunnings (14), BWS (20), Harvey Norman (25), JB Hi-Fi (26), Big W (30), David Jones (32), Liqourland (35) and Dan Murphy’s (40).
Perception of innovation drives value in Australia and those in Australia’s Top 40 considered the most innovative are over 140% more valuable than those considered least innovative. Collectively, the Australian Top 40 are not seen to be particularly innovative indicating risks for disruption but simultaneously, also opportunity for improvement; but Dan Murphy’s, Bunnings and Westfield are leading the way.
Brands that stand for something unique in the minds of consumers set themselves apart from the category, driving both brand equity and providing compelling reasons to choose these brands over others.
Brands that innovate – and show their customers that they are shaking things up or leading their category – generate love and grow their value faster.
Brand equity and therefore value is created through five key pillars: brand purpose, innovation, communication, brand experience and brand love. Brands that perform strongly across all five areas are more likely to meaningfully connect with consumers in a differentiated way.
Australians are shopping around and looking for ways to make smart purchase decisions. They are mindful of uncertainty in the world and that requires a degree of caution when it comes to spending – especially with our high cost of living.
Two-thirds of Australians prefer to ‘buy Australian’ but only if no more expensive than buying global brands. Aussie brands must both refrain from dropping prices below their global competitors to succeed, and focus on brand strength to drive the required premium and maintain resilience.
“While retail platforms and technology make it easier for Aussie brands to expand, they also bring new players to our shores – and as such, the best defence is a strong brand. Applying innovation across your product, business and customer experience in an agile environment now equates to survival in this global market.” said Jon Foged, CEO, Kantar Australia.
Technology is reshaping shopping. Digital transformation, artificial intelligence, and the accelerating speed of change has fostered the entrance of competitors like Amazon to enter and disrupt markets with greater efficiencies, reduced costs, and consumer access to highly desired global brands.
BrandZ is the world’s largest and most definitive brand equity platform and reflects brands integrated into today’s consumer lifestyles. It is the only brand valuation study to combine interviews with over three million consumers globally with analysis of the financial and business performance of each company (publicly published financial information) and the only brand valuations that take into account what people think about the brands they buy. For a brand to be included in the BrandZ Top 40 Most Valuable Australian Brands they have to have originated in Australia and be publicly-listed on a stock exchange or publish their company financials.
The report also looks beyond individual brands and looks at Australia as a brand and determines the quality of life around the world. Australia’s 2018 overall rank rose to 7th from 9th, overtaking the USA. It’s quality of life, citizenship and cultural influences are all key elements in Australia’s placement among the world’s best countries. Notwithstanding the recent news and the Royal Commission into Australia’s banking irregularities, Australia is ranked number 1 in the world in being seen as economically stable and 3rd overall in terms of its job market.
Read the full report here.